After graduating from nursing school, the two nuns arrived in South Korea in the 1960s to work on Sorok Island, where a medical facility, more concentration camp than hospital, had been set up.
Whilst others who worked there armed themselves against possible infection with masks, gloves, and quarantine gear, the two women, then in their mid-20s, wore only white gowns as they tended to the patients. Even when their faces were spattered with blood and pus from wounds, they paid no attention.
Recalling her time on the island, Sister Marianne said, “It was through the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that I was able to serve”. Above all, “The greatest joy came from seeing patients being discharged from the island and meeting their family members after their wounds healed.”
Some of you might already be aware of the conversion of Chinese artist Yan Zu to Catholicism, as recounted on National Catholic Register and Catholic News Agency. A Dominican friar from the Western Province who is from Taiwan originally recently brought this story to my attention.
It was the study of European art history, and specifically of medieval illuminated manuscripts, that brought Yan to the Faith. She has a Chinese language blog from which these images of her own work are taken.
One of the reasons I like having my sons serve at the Casa Maria retreat house is the opportunity to hear generally excellent homilies from the priests leading the retreat on a particular weekend. This past weekend, the retreat master was Fr. James Kubicki, national director of the Apostleship of Prayer. I spoke with Fr. Kubicki after Mass, and he immediately made the connection with the chapter on the Morning Offering from The Words We Pray, which was nice!
— 4 —
Italy trip prep continues. Well, not really. I haven’t done much, since there really isn’t much left to do. I have almost been convinced to just leave Tuscany to chance, the winds and the Spirit. We’ll see.
— 5 —
I’m serious about upping my social media game for the trip. I certainly don’t want it to dominate the experience as I juggle phones and cameras and spend the evening on the computer.. Absolutely not. But I do want to share various aspects of the trip – new sight and sounds, a story or two per day. So if you are interested be sure to follow me here, and then on Instagram. I will probably try to Periscope, but I have to practice here on this side of the world, so look for that via Twitter at some point over the next couple of weeks.
I’m excited about the new Richard Russo book, Everybody’s Fool. I’ve always thought Nobody’s Fool to be one of the great American 20th century novels, and this one is sounding good. If you want to laugh until you weep, read Straight Man.
And then there was that time I had contacted Richard Russo, my writing hero, through either his agent or his publisher with the faint, crazy hope that he would write an introduction for a volume in the Loyola Classics series. I am not one hundred percent sure, but I think it was Jon Hassler’s North of Hope. As I said, it was pretty insane, and I thought nothing would come of it.
One Friday morning, I went to the grocery store. I returned. There was a message on the voicemail.
Hi, this is Richard Russo.
Yes, Richard Russo HAD CALLED MY HOUSE.
FIVE MINUTES before I walked back in the door.
And of course, he was calling (very politely and kindly) to tell me that he was swamped with work and couldn’t do the introduction.
So what was I going to do, fangirlishly call him back just to tell him…what? That I was sorry, but I certainly understood, and by the way, hey I’m talking to you right now, Richard Russo, writing hero?
No. I couldn’t do that. So I just stood there in my kitchen holding milk or green beans or whatever other meaningless object had made me miss talking to Richard Russo.
Well, speaking of writing, but on a less-exalted scale – you still have time….if your local Catholic bookstore has it in stock, you can grab it before Sunday. Or maybe even get super-quick delivery!
For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!